Worship At Home, Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with Corpus Christi Church

The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your
current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present
religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background,
race or color, sexual orientation, whatever your self-esteem…you are
invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected by the
Catholic Community of Corpus Christi.
Let us know your needs, your hopes, your gifts.
There is a place for you here.

 


Opening Song

How Can We Be Silent:

 

 

 

Opening Prayer

We begin in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

Amen

Loving God,
we raise our voices in prayer for those who have no voice.
We raise our voices in prayer for those who must now walk the long road of healing.
We raise our voices in confidence as your care for us knows no end, even in the midst of tragedy.
We are your people.
You are all-loving.
Our presence here shows our desire to be peaceful people.
Strengthen our efforts to live in harmony, loving one another in peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Amen

 


The First Reading

A reading from the second Book of Kings
One day Elisha came to Shunem,
where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her.
Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine.
So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God.
Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof
and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp,
so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”
Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.
Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?”
His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes!
She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”
Elisha said, “Call her.”
When the woman had been called and stood at the door,
Elisha promised, “This time next year
you will be fondling a baby son.”
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

Psalm

For Ever Will I Sing:

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

Gospel Acclamation:

 

 

The Gospel

Fr. Patrick Kennedy:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Jesus said to his apostles:
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is a righteous man
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 


Homily

Fr. Patrick Kennedy:

Sometimes the truth shocks. It is hard to digest. When told in an unadulterated fashion, it knocks one off his or her center. The only response is to stop what we are doing, settle our minds, and try as best we can to pause and ponder the reality of what we have just experienced.
Most Christians hear the truths proclaimed in the Gospels each time we gather for Worship. But there is plenty to distract us in those settings. Often, what we actually hear are only bits and pieces of the words of Jesus. Because of the “noise” around us, the effect of his words do not touch our hearts in the way they are intended to. But sometimes, the words are so startling and their meaning so discomforting, we cannot help to sit up and listen. These are the times we might hear ourselves say “He can’t mean what he just said can he?
Jesus is preparing his disciples to go out on a mission trip. He is asking them to recruit more followers. He instructs them in how he wants them to be as they go from place to place. He is very clear about what he wants them to say. When they heard these words, I think they might have had the same reaction we have when they heard him lay out the conditions of discipleship. “He really doesn’t mean those things, does he?” They came to know over time, he really does mean those things. And more importantly, he wanted this message to be stated clearly and unfettered.
I wonder when the disciples returned to their camp and told Jesus the reaction of the people to his conditions of following him what Jesus said in return? He had to know his truth wasn’t going to be widely accepted or even understood. How could a son or daughter deny the love they had for parents? And what was this “cross” he wanted people to begin carrying as they follow him? All Jews knew that loving one’s father and mother was one of 10 Commandments. Jesus knew it too. This condition, if accepted, would truly be one of the greatest sacrifices a person could make. Maybe that’s what Jesus meant by “his cross”. Could anyone pay this kind of price to be one of his followers? I would hazard a guess; the disciples didn’t recruit many new followers given these conditions.
The Christian life has never been a life of ease and tranquility. The Christian who strives to follow Jesus, comes to learn early on what he meant by letting people know how difficult discipleship would truly be if they did well. It would be a life resembling his life, his suffering, his death, and his resurrection. These would not come in one fell swoop. His Pascal Mystery would be experienced in the day to day lives Christians would lead. Some days, it would be dramatic manifestation of this mystery. Other days, it would manifest in the ordinary events facing each individual. The truth is, these moments of suffering, dying, and rising in the presence of God are what the Christian person must accept and then deal with throughout their lives. They must do it with joy and humility.
In another place in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus continues to lay out conditions of discipleship. The people listening are wondering “How can any human being meet these conditions?” They grumbled about this and were overheard by those around them. At one point the disciples spoke up and they themselves after hearing these hard sayings, asked “Lord, then who can be saved?” Jesus replied, “for you, it is impossible but with God, all things are possible”. With this acknowledgement, Jesus seems to know many may not meet the mark. But in his own inimitable way, he offers people hope. It is Jesus who says, God’s love is without condition. It is rich in mercy. It is redeeming. And as Jesus embodied this love and became the redeemer, he provided a way for all his followers, saints and sinners alike, to experience the glory of God. Ultimately, if the Christian person followed Jesus’ way throughout life, and did it the best they could, they would begin to experience the fullness of the truth of which he spoke. They would discover, as other disciples have, the meaning of this truth, and it is a truth that will ultimately set them free.

 

 


Another Reflection

This Sunday in the Gospel of Matthew, we return to Jesus preparing his disciples to go out, he reminds them that it will be difficult. Early on, Christianity was the smallest group drawing believers away from Judaism. It ripped families apart. Good Jewish families were appalled to see their sons and daughters go off to follow a crucified rebel and blasphemer. Through baptism, a new family of followers who were disowned were formed and the bonds of discipleship were even stronger than the bonds of blood. At the end of the chapter, having laid out the difficulties a disciple must face, Jesus assures them that even the smallest act of welcoming the disciple will be rewarded. “Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me; and those who welcome me, welcome the one who sent me.” The stranger who stands before them comes not simply as a representative and ambassador of Christ, but of the Father who sent Christ into the world. When dealing with this person, they are dealing with God. That awareness changes the perspective. To give “a cup of cold water” of “a cold drink” to another person was the most basic act of hospitality or service. It is a metaphor for doing the absolute least service to another. Jesus is saying that even the most trivial act of service that recognizes the work of the disciple will be welcomed and acknowledged. Discipleship requires our very lives. As disciples we can no longer put ourselves first. We must be willing to spend ourselves and to be spent, to serve others in the day to day unfolding of life.
There are moments in the life of a family that can tear us apart, over lifestyle, money, behavior, politics, respect, or values that a member feels that, in conscience, or by conviction, they do not belong anymore. When this happens, we must listen carefully to the reasons the family member gives. Perhaps we have lost something essential in our life together that needs challenging and change. Keeping the lines of communication open, speaking the truth with calmness, love, and remaining as compassionate as possible are the best Christian responses. The problem sometimes is to hear the challenge at all, or at least to hear it and not dismiss it. This is true for our domestic families but also for our Church family. For all the great things the greater Church of yesteryear achieved, it also did some terrible things. We know today, inter-denominational marriages are rarely the reasons a family will divide, but we know that other religious issues can still break up families and that is always a tragedy. We are called to be ministers of hospitality, not gatekeepers. The danger comes when Catholics act as if they are members of a sect, afraid of outside contamination, seeing judgment in every impulse. For centuries we have been sent out into the world, not to cower together in a locked room. The Church has sometimes let families down appearing to prefer doctrine to the complexities of people’s lives, or preferring Eurocentric liturgy to creating communities of hospitality, participation, and justice. However, change can occur when we implore the Holy Spirit to help us take these brave, imaginative steps together to break us from any constricting tendencies, so that we can go out into the world fearlessly proclaiming the Good News. With the recent events in our world, our hearts and eyes have been opened and we need courageous conversations about how we, the church live. We need awareness about what we say and don’t say, what we do and don’t do, the welcome we extend and don’t extend, the policies we enact or support and the ideas behind them. We must educate ourselves to vote, move over to create more space to amplify more voices in decision making, and make sure to do what we can to breathe new life, creating conversion of hearts. Look at what we have learned about systemic racism in our culture, in our communities, in our church. Think about who is and isn’t welcomed and why. Think about how lack of equality is closely tied in with poverty, injustice, education, violence, and healthcare. As disciples, if we want to follow Jesus, we will find him in the places of brokenness, and dis-ease; look for love, justice, compassion, peace; look for people who are hurting, marginalized, oppressed, and devalued. Can we follow and meet Jesus there in the faces of others? We have a Welcome statement at Corpus Christi, do we believe it? Do we live it?
Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your
current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present
religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background,
race or color, sexual orientation, whatever your self-esteem…
you are
invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected by the
Catholic Community of Corpus Christi.
Let us know your needs, your hopes, your gifts.
There is a place for you here.

 


Reflection Song

A Place Called home:

 


Profession of Faith

Let us together profess our faith:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,          
born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

 


Prayers of the Faithful

PRESIDER:
Attentive to wisdom in every season of life, we lift up these prayers for our sister’s and brother’s around the world.
LECTOR:
For the church:
May we grow in our capacity to offer hospitality and care for others embracing differences and respecting life…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For places throughout the world where life is undervalued or threatened by inequality, war, pollution, prejudice, violence, or human trafficking…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For lands stripped and made poisonous, their waters and plants robbed of life: May we restore the spirituality of our environment so that all may have access to a cold drink of water…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those who suffer shame, for those shunned and condemned, for all whose God-given dignity is denied…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those whose bodies are made weak in sickness and minds clouded by age…
We Pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

We remember our beloved dead,
Especially Joan Bower and Gene Glass…

(PAUSE)

May all of us come to a deeper belief that God is drawing us to eternal Life…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

 

PRESIDER:
God who calls and accompanies us,
we look to you as we seek to live as Jesus lived.
Grant us courage when we are afraid,
confidence when we are doubtful,
strength when we are weary,
and wisdom when we are confused.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 


Closing Prayer

Gracious God,
our hearts are filled with gratitude for your mercy and compassion.
Send us out to show compassion for the poor and those in need.
Send us out to work for what is right and to confront injustice in our world.
Send us out to be your kindness, with humility and gentleness, and your patience giving witness to your love.
May we have courage to take our place among the rejected,
and so find greater friendship with you, our guide, and our path, now and forever.
United with our sisters and brothers everywhere,
together we pray in the words Jesus taught us:

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done.
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.